A Brief History

Dwellingup timber workers

Dwellingup was first established as a timber mill town in the late 19th century by saw millers and timber cutters eager to harvest the abundant natural hardwoods such as Jarrah, Marri and Blackbutt growing in the area. The township was gazetted 'Dwellingupp' in February 1910 following the decision to make it the terminus for the Pinjarra-Marrinup railway. the town was first was surveyed in 1909.
It was given its original name of ‘Dwellingupp’ by Surveyor General H.F. Johnston and this was later amended to Dwellingup, as it is now known. The name is an Aboriginal word which is believed to translate to "place of nearby water".

Early Dwellingup townsite

After the railway opened in 1910 Dwellingup quickly became major a centre for the area and a number of small timber settlements such as Holyoake, Nanga Brook, Marrinup, Chadoora and Banksiadale developed in the area.  Dwellingup was the centre with services including a hotel, a doctor, two butchers, a baker and a saddler.
In 1918 the forest areas in the region were declared as State Forests and Dwellinup was transformed into the centre for research, management and development of the forestry industry in Western Australia. By 1960 timber milling had become the third largest income earner for the state of Western Australia.
In 1961 Dwellingup suffered the wrath of a devastating bush fire that was stared by lightning strikes. The fire burned for 5 days and destroyed over 104,000 ha of forest land  and destroyed virtually all original wooden structures in the town with the exception of the hotel. Dwellingup Hotel which still stands today and is the only remaining community owned hotel in Western Australia. The surrounding small mill settlements did not fare so well in the fire and were completely razed to the ground.
The pioneering spirit of these timber workers wasn't to be defeated by the fire or hardship and Dwellingup was rebuilt soon after the fire, standing today as a monument to our pioneering past.

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